American Moms: It’s Up to Us to Raise Courageous Kids
What does it mean to be brave?
Have you ever had to put everything on the line for your beliefs?
Most of us haven’t. Our kids just might have to.
What must have been stirring in the heart and mind of Jonathan Isaac when he faced a moment that changed his life?
In case you’re not familiar with him – Jonathan is the courageous power forward for the Orlando Magic NBA team who refused to be forced to kneel during the national anthem. It was the height of race rioting and Covid lockdowns of 2020. As his team all donned “Black Lives Matter” t-shirts with a plan to take a knee when our nation’s anthem was played pre-game, he said, “No.”
There are a couple of things you should know. Jonthan’s stand was risky. Some teammates turned on him, angry that all the attention would be focused on this show of resistance. Also, his contract was nearly up, so he could’ve lost his place on the team. Then there was the flood of disdain from outraged activists who insisted that with his public gesture, he was saying that black lives … don’t matter.
His stand reflected his conviction that Christ is the only solution to cultural challenges. He shared that he respected his teammates’ stance but didn’t see the BLM kneeling spectacle as something that would help – in any way. He was brave, exhibiting the courage of his convictions, willing to risk it all to stay true to his faith.
“I believe that Jesus Christ is ultimately the answer for not just racism but all the problems that we see,” Jonathan explained. “Racism and all the things that plague our society are heart issues, and they don’t get changed by organizations; they don’t get changed by political movements. They get changed by individuals changing their perspective and their hearts.”
As so many people, corporations, and government officials melt like wax before a culture that demands submission – courage, conviction, and character are in low supply.
Increasingly, our kids are being put on the spot, too, big time.
Their generation faces demands for conformity as never before. They will navigate (if they aren’t already) gender pronouns and protocols, racial requirements regarding what can be said or done, words that are violence (whatever that means), and more.
Will they bend to the culture to avoid the dangers of standing up for what they believe? Will they have what it takes to know where to draw a line? It’s up to us to raise courageous kids ready to influence and impact a declining culture. Your little one could be instrumental in saving our nation – and our freedom.
When we think of a timid daughter or the peer pressure our son is facing, it can seem like they will never be the stand-in-the-face-of-evil type of kid but don’t sell them short. On this week’s podcast, Jonathan Isaac tells his story of that pivotal moment courtside that birthed so much more in his life and also how, as a college athlete, he suffered terribly from anxiety. Don’t fear small – or timid beginnings.
As moms, let’s intentionally teach our kids to stand in a culture that demands they cower. Here are a few ideas to help you get started:
If you are a mom who stood up for your children at a school board meeting or contacted your student’s principal over pornography in your school, you were showing your child that there’s a line that can’t be crossed without you getting involved. You may have pulled your child out of a failing public school to homeschool or another school option. This courageous decision taught your child that they are more important than complying with poor, dangerous, and destructive ideologies like CRT and Gender lessons.
When moms and dads stand firm for their beliefs, they model courage, which speaks volumes, impacting children and who they will become.
Have open and honest (age-appropriate) conversations about what’s happening in our culture. Remember, don’t make it a lecture, but a conversation where your child can open up about what they are facing. If they know you’re listening, they will share. Also, when you encounter a moment when it becomes necessary to stand firm or speak up, make sure your children know what you are doing and why.
True tales of brave exploits and courageous stands can profoundly influence your children to understand the need to live by convictions, no matter the cost. We shared a bit of Jonathan Isaac’s story, and there are so many other new and historical accounts of individuals who did what was right in the face of evil. Telling these and other courageous stories can help build a strong foundation in your kids’ lives.
Martin Luther King, Jr. – Revisit the story of this brave African American minister who led the civil rights movement, dreaming of a world where his children would not be “judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.” He created a model of resisting evil – but without violence. His courage and influence changed the course of our national history – and he gave his life for it.
Jack Phillips – Though he never sought fame, he became a target and a champion in the cancel culture fight. He is the baker who chose not to bake for a same-sex wedding ceremony because of his religious convictions about the sanctity of marriage between a man and a woman. Jack faced the most vicious and largely untrue media and internet accusations calling him hateful and homophobic. Though he had enjoyed customers of varied worldviews and lifestyles, always serving his baked goods with a kind word and a smile, he became a target of a well-funded activist mob in Denver and nationally. Though the Supreme Court ruled in his favor, other lawsuits have been ongoing – for a decade now – in an attempt to destroy the mild-mannered baker.
Riley Gaines – You’ve probably heard plenty about this courageous college swim champion who stood up for women athletes who were wrongly forced to compete against biological men. She is a brave voice who dared to alert the world to this full-blown attack on female sports by anti-women gender activists. Learn more of her story from our conversation with her on our podcast.
Corrie Ten Boom – Her family didn’t rest in the contentment of their thriving watchmaking business in Holland during World War II. Though not Jewish themselves, they stayed true to their convictions risking all to hide Jews above their shop from the Nazis. You likely know from her bestselling book, The Hiding Place, that they were eventually discovered, and the Ten Booms were sent to the Ravensbrück concentration camp. Though her father and sister died there, Corrie lived to bravely extend forgiveness and the grace of Christ to former Nazi soldiers.
The Apostle Paul – Once he found faith, Paul gave up everything to preach about Jesus. It was a complete 180 from his former life of violent opposition to believers. He refused to stop preaching and loving those he taught despite orders to cease. He helped birth churches and encourage believers through his travels and writings during several imprisonments. According to the Book of Acts, he was kidnapped, beaten, threatened, arrested, and shipwrecked. He wrote either 13 or 14 books in the New Testament, helping countless lives throughout history to be transformed.
The 56 Signers of the Declaration of Independence – Have you ever considered what signing that document meant to those men? With all the criticism of our founders, take a moment to think about the fact that signing our founding declaration was treason against the king. It was like signing your own death warrant – but they didn’t shrink back. After the signing, Benjamin Franklin said, “We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately.” With that bold move, their courage opened the door for human history’s greatest experiment in freedom – the United States of America.
There is a saying, “Associate yourself with people of good quality, for it is better to be alone than in bad company.” Those wise words came from American educator and author Booker T. Washington. I think the Bible says it even better, “Whoever walks with the wise becomes wise, but the companion of fools will suffer harm.” (Proverbs 13:20)
In this digital world where so much of our time and energy is spent communicating via smartphones and social media – it’s more complicated than ever to step back into the physical world to engage with others. We can’t expect our children to make that leap without our leadership.
Simply put, use intentionality with whom you spend time, modeling the value of relationships with others of solid character and conviction for your children. It’s one thing to hope your kids find good friends from good families to spend time with; however – it all starts with us and how we order our lives. So, where can you begin to build connections and find like-minded friends and courageous community?
Start by attending your local church every week. Many have small community groups that allow for more intimate friendships to build around particular interests or life stages. Bravely sign up for one and show your children you value community and connection.
If you’re a home-educated family, there are local homeschool coops in most communities, and these can be a great place to engage with other patriotic families. Another idea would be volunteering as a family for a local charity – or with a political campaign.
Of course, we think getting involved in our Cottage Meetings is one of the best ways to connect – and learn – alongside other mamas like you. Moms for America Groups and Raising Patriots Resources offer options for community engagement.
It’s pretty simple. Seeds planted will always produce something. If we intentionally model, talk about, and commend courage when we see it, our kids will grow into strong Americans who, regardless of any cultural storm – are willing and able to stand firm for their families, communities, and nation.